On Labor Day weekend, my mom and I went on a day trip to the Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site which is near
Two brigades of well armed Union troopers managed to catch two John F. Fagan’s and John S. Marmaduke’s cavalry divisions as they attempted to guard a ford being used by a supply train crossing Mine Creek. Union cavalrymen, according to Scott, charged across “ground [that] was entirely open and covered with prairie grass” (p. 332). The sight must have indeed been a “spectacle” as reported by Scott. Here is a photograph of the open field looking from the Confederate position toward the Union lines:
It is not difficult to imagine a cavalry charge across that field!
According to the interpretive walking trail brochure, the Confederate force suffered approximately 1,160 casualties (260 estimated killed, 300 estimated wounded, and 600 estimated captured) out of about 7,000 men present. Some Confederate prisoners were executed by Union troopers because they were wearing Union uniforms. The Union force numbered about 2,800 men and suffered a grand total of 90 casualties (8 killed, 80 wounded, and 2 missing).
The main source for this battle remains Lumir F. Buresh’s book, October 25th and The Battle Of Mine Creek, first published in 1977 and reprinted by the Mine Creek Battlefield Foundation in 2000.
Note: The quotes from William Forse Scott are from his book, The Story Of A Cavalry Regiment: The Career Of The Fourth Iowa Veteran Volunteers: From Kansas to Georgia, 1861-1865 (1893; reprinted Iowa City: Camp Pope Bookshop, 1992).